Relational church

John O'Keefe has alot to offer, but its not a program, its an attitude, hospitality. Every paragraph is good, its hard to pick a few to tempt you to read the entire article. Here are 2,

But as churches seek to find that all in one program that will solve all their ills, they forget that programs do very little for people. Sure, the church can “design” things to “meet the needs” of the people, but that is still not working – because, as I believe, “structure” will never give way to growth, and “organization” disallows the reality of “organism.” While churches are searching for the “latest and greatest” they are missing the opportunity to build what is most important in the church – relationships. Now, let me say this before I go on – this is not a program, do not think of it as a program, do not strive to figure out how to make it a program – developing relationship can not be programmed. If you see this as a program, stop reading and go watch SpongeBob (don’t tell Dobson), or clip your toenails, or reread a Maxwell book.

As I said above, developing relationships can never be programmed. Because what is organic can never be systemized, when we take the organic and try to organize it we develop “engineered” life. In my past experiences, no program has ever helped develop a true and honest, lasting relationship. The idea of a “relationship driven church” cannot be programmed, because when it is it loses the spontaneous reality of relationships. So, if developing a “relationship driven church” is not a program, what is it? Think of it this way, it is a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle based not on a “thing,” but on a person. It is a lifestyle based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. To be a relationship driven church we need to look to Christ as our example. How did Jesus develop relationships? What did Jesus do to make friends? How did Jesus interact with those around him? What did Jesus say about looking into the heart of a person, and not judge the outside?

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